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Accept Jesus’ invitation to demonstrate the healing light of Christ like he did!

Kim Hedge, St. Louis area, Missouri
Posted Monday, August 27th, 2018

[Accept Jesus’ invitation to demonstrate the healing light of Christ like he did!]
Metaphysical Application Ideas for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

“Christ Jesus”
for September 2, 2018

by Kim Hedge, CS Maryland Heights, MO, USA
kimhedge@gmail.com, 202.677.2936

Introduction

There are two words that stood out to me in this lesson – “light” mentioned eight (8) times, and “demonstrate” or “demonstration” referenced nine (9) times throughout the lesson. Overall what I noticed about this Bible lesson is that it shows how Jesus – teacher, healer, leader, way-shower – demonstrated the Christ light, or the healing light of Truth in all that he did. By shining a light on and exposing error, or false beliefs that try to hide man’s true-likeness as God’s sons and daughters, he redeemed the sinner, healed the sick and raised the dead, and he showed us how to do so too. In fact, he invites us not only to follow in his footsteps, but also to go out and do even more than what he did. And by doing so, we get the greatest reward… but that comes later, and I don’t want to spoil the ending.

Golden Text [To explore Cobbey Crisler insights on II Cor. 4:6 see W’s PS#1.]

The initial part of the Golden Text is a reference to the Biblical account of creation in Genesis 1:3 “And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light.” That light was for the whole world to see. The light that shines in our hearts, is our opportunity for awakening to the message of the Christ. It is not just light outside of us, but within us and radiating from us and it cannot be hid. It radiates through us when we embody the Christ and let that light shine on our faces as well. As we’ll see in this lesson, Jesus demonstrates so clearly the Christ-truth by letting his light shine in all that he does and shows us how to do the same.

As Jesus said in Matthew 5:16 “let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (New International Version (NIV)) Just as Jesus did everything to glorify God and knew he could not do it of himself but with and through God, that is the same for us when we let our light shine. And just like putting a face with a name or a voice, Jesus embodies the Christ and gives us that relatable human that shows us that the light can shine in our lives here and now, and it not just someday down the road in some distant after-life.

Responsive Readings (RR)

The RR is from 1 Corinthians. This book of the Bible is a letter from the Apostle Paul to the church in Corinth to remind the members of who they really are as Christians, followers of Christ. You see, Corinth was a bustling metropolis and a seaside port town that was known for “loose (or immoral) living” – basically it was a party town, and according to Bible scholars such as J.B. Phillips, Paul was disappointed that the members of the church had forgotten their morals and forgot what it means to let their light shine and be good to one another. So the first part of this book is Paul reminding them who they really are – as it says in 1 Corinthians 1:30 “Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin” or from the Contemporary English Version (CEV) – “You are God's children. He sent Christ Jesus to save us and to make us wise, acceptable, and holy.” He was reminding them of this identity as children of God and that they cannot be deceived into thinking they are not. Paul goes on to remind them of their strong foundation in Christ – “because Christ is the only foundation” and that they belong to Christ – “and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.” (1 Cor. 3:11, 23 (CEV))

What a great start to the lesson on Christ Jesus – a reminder that the Christ is the light that shines in our hearts and our lives, and is our strong foundation which reminds us that we are pure and holy. The moment we turn from whatever it is we are doing that is not in line with the good and the true, and turn towards God, towards that Christ light and remember who we are, we are free! We are redeemed! That light illuminates and brings to the surface any negative thinking or behavior and lets us eliminate it. And that light not only shines in us but also uplifts all those around us. The more shining lights there are in the world, the more the seeming darkness is snuffed out. Let’s see how many ways the Christ shines the light and eliminated the darkness in the rest of the lesson, and learn how we can apply this idea in our lives.

Section 1 – Jesus comes to demonstrate the Christ light and purity.
[Explore CC insights on B3 & B4 in W’s PS#2 & #3]

Section 1 gives us the beginning of Jesus’ story from his virgin birth, and Mary Baker Eddy (MBE) helps us distinguish Jesus – the man, from Christ – the title or designation. The section begins with that message of light that God shows us in citation B1 and the prophecy in Isaiah of the birth of Jesus and how the Christ light will shine on everyone who walks in darkness with the birth of Jesus as outlined in citation B2. And it goes on in citation B3 [and PS#2] to give Matthew’s account of the fulfillment of the prophecy that Jesus would be born of a virgin – representing the purity and holiness that are inherent in the Christ, but coming to us in a human form that people could relate to and connect with, as explained by MBE in citations S1 and S2.

The Christ is the ideal man, the pure, holy idea of God that lights up our lives, protects and defends us, heals us and frees us from sin, sickness and death. Jesus was a man, born of a human mother who is a virgin (pure, whole, holy) and whose thought was so receptive to Truth that she was ready, willing and able to receive this news and take part in birthing this child who came to represent the Christ. Jesus demonstrated through his birth and his life’s work the power of the Christ, and has come to show us how to find the Christ in our lives. Let’s see how he demonstrates the light of Christ through his actions, shows us how and sends us out to do the same… it’s going to take a bit of work, but the reward is eternal life filled with grace and goodness – here and now and forever.

Section 2 – Jesus, the Son of God, is protected from temptation – and so are we, when we follow his lead. [Cobbey & Ken insights on B5, B6 & B7 in W’s PS#4a, #4b, #5 & #6]

This section begins with baptism with water, or purification, and the pronouncement that Jesus is not only the Son of God, but also God’s “beloved Son, in whom (He) is well pleased.” (B5 and W’s PS#4a, Matt 3:17) Aren’t we all the sons and daughters of God, and isn’t He is pleased with all of us? Yes! [as Ken Cooper’s poem, “WE ARE ALL GOD’S BELOVED,” illustrates in W’s PS#4b.] How do we know that God loves us all? Because in Genesis 1 God created us in His image and likeness and that all of his creation is “very good”, and at the end of His creation that he rested, satisfied with His work. And Jesus tells in the Lord’s Prayer that God is “Our Father”... all of ours. So, we can know that we too are God’s beloved children, “in whom (He) is well pleased.” But it doesn’t end there… being the children of God and being very good, we can resist the temptation to doubt or fear or behave in any way that is not very good (or pure and holy). We’ve already established that the Christ is pure and holy, and that Jesus came to demonstrate that pure goodness. In this section, Jesus demonstrates for us how to counter temptation of any sort, and how to trust in God only. [B6 & W’s PS#5]

What kinds of temptations do you need to conquer? I was trying to think of some as I was working on this section, but initially nothing came. After I decided that I should get back to work on these notes, and then the thought came – but wouldn’t it be more fun to watch an episode or two of your favorite TV show? Or when picking up my iPad to read and study the lesson, sometimes the creeping thought comes… you could just click on that game app first and just play one quick game… oh, you lost, well play again so you can win… oh look, you won; doesn’t that feel great! Let’s play again! These little temptations seem innocent enough, right? Perhaps you’ve been tempted by these thoughts or something similar… when sitting down to do homework or a work project? And we justify it sometimes, don’t we…?

It’s not like I am being tempted to go out and do something really wrong or bad… but is it really my highest sense of right? Sometimes we do give into these temptations almost unconsciously… And in the end, are these activities really bringing true, lasting joy and fulfillment… are they allowing us to be productive and useful to our fellow man and to ourselves? Are they allowing us to express God-like qualities? That’s a good test… what qualities will I express when doing X activity… ? It’s not to say that an occasional TV show or movie or game is bad… and taking a break from work can be ok too. It’s just know when we’re doing so to avoid the hard work and giving into temptation, or if it’s even a conscious choice.

Maybe the temptations are bigger like what Jesus encounter with Satan on the mountain top in citation B6. I was talking to a friend recently who was fearful about her sense of supply and tempted to take a job she didn’t really want or feel good about just because of the amount of money it pays because she was tempted to believe that it was her source of supply. But when Jesus was tempted to turn a stone into bread and he responded with “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Matt 4:4) It is not just the bread (which is also another term for money) or the money from a job that will sustain us, but listening to the word of God and being willing to doing His work and fulfill our purpose – which is simply to express Him!

Satan also tempts Jesus by saying if Jesus worships him, he will give him that entire kingdom. That seems like winning the lottery, doesn’t it? It’s like he’s say, “Here, take this quick and easy way out, and you will be rich and powerful and this whole kingdom will be yours.” I’ve been sometimes tempted to take the easy way out, or thinking that if I could just figure out a way to get rich quick… I could spend my life volunteering! But that’s not realistic and it takes work and that’s ok! (We’ll see more about what it means to do the work in a later section… )

Jesus shows us how to kick Satan to the curb, and that worshiping only the one, true God will save us from all the other evilness that seems to come with giving into temptation. I also love this line in Mary Baker Eddy’s Pulpit and Press (Pul.) and use it often to counter temptation - “Know, then, that you possess sovereign power to think and act rightly, and that nothing can dispossess you of this heritage and trespass on Love.” (Pul. 3:7)

Sometimes the temptation is even more subtle – like I’ve been working a lot of hours and barely sleeping, and now I’m feeling sick. Or I’ve just done a tough workout, I’m going to feel it (and be sore) tomorrow… But, wait a minute!! Are these thoughts from God? Is that a “law” we want to abide by? No way! It’s just a temptation… not the truth.

So, we have the power to counter temptations small and large because we are the children of God and we are each dearly beloved, and have the power of divine Principle governing our thought and actions. But MBE gives us further instructions on how to do it in citation S9 “When the illusion of sickness or sin tempts you, cling steadfastly to God and His idea. Allow nothing but His likeness to abide in your thought.” (SH 495: 14-16) This is an old favorite; and it’s easy to breeze over these well-loved and often used quotes, but give it some thought – how do we cling to God? How to we allow only His goodness into our thought?

Well, Mary Baker Eddy tells us in an essay entitled “What Our Leader Says” in The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany:

“Beloved Christian Scientists, keep your minds so filled with Truth and Love, that sin, disease, and death cannot enter them. It is plain that nothing can be added to the mind already full. There is no door through which evil can enter, and no space for evil to fill in a mind filled with goodness. Good thoughts are an impervious armor; clad therewith you are completely shielded from the attacks of error of every sort. And not only yourselves are safe, but all whom your thoughts rest upon are thereby benefited.” (My. 210:2)

So, it not only blesses us, but all whom we love and include in our thought! [like Philip included the first black Christian in the verses before Bible citation B7, with CC insights in W’s PS#6]

Section 3 – Jesus’ “miracles” can be demonstrated today through the Science of healing.
[Explore CC insights on Bible citation B8 in W’s PS#7]

Have you ever thought to yourself – I can’t heal, I’m not Jesus. I sure have (yet another temptation). But studying the Bible and reading through Science and Health allowed me to see that these so-called miracles Jesus performed are really proofs and demonstration of our oneness with God which are just as relevant and real and powerful today as they were then! And what’s more, there is a Science that backs this up. As Mary Baker Eddy (MBE) explains this in a few places in Science and Health

“The mission of Jesus confirmed prophecy, and explained the so-called miracles of olden time as natural demonstrations of the divine power…” (SH 131:26-28)

“The proof, by present demonstration, that the so-called miracles of Jesus did not specially belong to a dispensation now ended, but that they illustrated an ever-operative divine Principle.” (SH 123:24-27)

“The physical healing of Christian Science results now, as in Jesus’ time, from the operation of divine Principle, before which sin and disease lose their reality in human consciousness and disappear as naturally and as necessarily as darkness gives place to light and sin to reformation. Now, as then, these mighty works are not supernatural, but supremely natural.” (SH xi:9-15)

I have also often wondered, what would I do if I were the nobleman referenced in citation B8? Would I have enough faith to accept the truth if Jesus said to me, "Go back home. Your son will live!" (John 4:50 New Living Translation (NLT)) Or, would I doubt and ask… “Are you sure? But how do you know?” Would I want some kind of explanation or evidence? Or would I give excuses and reasons why that could not possibly be true? I’d like to think that, like the nobleman, I would also believe Jesus when he gave a command, but sometimes I’m not always sure.

In the past, when I’ve called a practitioner for help or even just read a line in Science and Health, I have felt myself arguing against what they are telling me, and arguing for the side of sickness or lack or whatever else mortal mind wants me to believe about myself that isn’t true. It’s tricky sometimes because mortal mind likes to pose as our own thought, and sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference. But in those moments, I try to pause and think, what does God know about this situation?

As MBE concludes this section with citation S16 “You can prove for yourself, dear reader, the Science of healing, and so ascertain if the author has given you the correct interpretation of Scripture.” (SH 547:6) And we can prove that these are not just miracles but demonstration of this healing Science.

In fact, I experienced a quick and simple proof just the other day. I was hosting my family and some dear friends for dinner. And I reached into the oven to pull something out, I burned my arm, which really hurt! But in that moment, I declared that God was present and that there was no way that I could be punished or suffer from a seeming accident when doing an act of love! There was so much love and joy and rejoicing in this occasion of bringing family together and there was no way any of that could be taken away. God would never allow it!! Love was present right there and nothing could touch me that didn’t come from God. I felt so strongly the presence of the Christ; and it shined a light on the truth that I couldn’t see or hear anything else, or be tempted to give into the material picture before me. The healing was instantaneous!

The pain vanished so completely, I didn’t give it a single thought for the rest of the night. I am overjoyed and so grateful for this demonstration that the healing power of Christ is here today and always. What kinds of proofs and demonstrations have you experienced? It’s always good to remember them and give gratitude… that’s another way to let our light shine!

Section 4 – Jesus sends out his disciples with the power to heal others.
[Explore CC insights on Bible citations B10, B11 & B12 in W’s PS#8, #9 & #10]

In the last section we discussed whether it is only Jesus who had/has the power to heal, and in this section we see further proof that the answer is a strong NO! Because as we see in citation B10, he sent out his disciples to “heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.” (Matt 10:1) He did not send them out to get further training and say someday you might know enough, and he didn’t send them out to get more training to heal through material means… he sent them out as already trained healers. They had followed him and learned from him as he healed others, and as he taught them through his parables and sermons, just as we can do by reading the Gospels. He sent them out to preach and heal and raise the dead! As Mary Baker Eddy (MBE) points out in citation S19 “Jesus instructed his disciples whereby to heal the sick through Mind instead of matter.” (SH 281:7-8)

And he did not say you only can heal certain people, but others are unworthy… and he did not say you can only heal certain diseases, but not the others because those are too scary or difficult or real… he actually commanded them to heal all people of all diseases … and on top of that, he sent them out to raise the dead, and they did!! (See the book of Acts of the Apostles for the stories of Peter raising Tabitha/Dorcas (9:36-42) and Paul raising Eutychus (20:7–12)... and they aren’t the only ones… prophets were raising the dead even before Jesus came along, proving the eternal nature of the Christ’s healing power – see 1st and 2nd Kings for the accounts of Elijah (1 King 17:17-24) and Elisha (2 Kings 4:18-37) each raising someone from the dead.)

As outlined in citation B11 [and by Cobbey in W’s PS#9], Jesus sent out another 70 beyond the 12… and from there in citation B12 [and in W’s PS#10,] he tells us that we can and will go out and heal as he and the disciples did… and he even expects that we will do even more, even greater demonstrations of the power of Divine Love to heal.

That sounds like a tall order, but when we realize that it is Love that actually heals and not us, it seems totally natural. MBE explains, “If the Scientist reaches his patient through divine Love, the healing work will be accomplished at one visit, and the disease will vanish into its native nothingness like dew before the morning sunshine.” (SH 365:15-19) What does it mean to “reach the patient through divine Love”? Well, it’s certainly not pity… and it’s not just human affection or compassion, though that’s a good start. But it is seeing a person as God sees them and loving them as God loves them – already and always perfect, whole, complete, good and holy. Health is not a state that we are trying to get to; it is an inherent quality within us because it is a quality of God who is Life, Truth and Love.

So, to sum it up, the healing work that Jesus demonstrated was not just for him and not just for his disciples, but for all as he said, “anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works” (John 14:12 NLT). And MBE give us this instruction in citation S21: “A Christian Scientist occupies the place at this period of which Jesus spoke to his disciples, when he said: "Ye are the salt of the earth." "Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid." Let us watch, work, and pray that this salt lose not its saltness, and that this light be not hid, but radiate and glow into noontide glory.” (367:17) So, let your light shine today and every day and it will help brighten the world!

Section 5 – Jesus’ invitation to us – “Take up the cross and follow me.” [CC insights in PS#11]

What does it mean to take up the cross? It means – do the work. There is no easy way out. I hear complaints sometimes that Christian Science takes too much work, too much effort. Well, it is true it takes work. But I have found that the more I follow Jesus’ example and live my life in accord with Christ-like ideals, the work takes less effort and becomes a joy to do.

There’s great joy and burden-lifting in fulfilling Jesus promise: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matt 11:28-30 NIV) And when we follow Christ, and listen to God, we can find not only rest but also what MBE refers to as an “unspeakable peace which comes from an all-absorbing spiritual love.” (SH 264: 26-27) And that sounds like a pretty wonderful place to be, if you ask me.

It’s easy to forget to study or read the lesson or do the work when life is good and things are moving along smoothly and harmoniously. But that’s when it is good to keep up the practice, because it builds up your arsenal to defend yourself and fight back when those negative or fearful thoughts try to break into our consciousness to tempt us to believe something that isn’t true. And when things are challenging, we dig in and do the work, take up that cross… but doing so with Christ will sustain us and give us the rest we need. Because what is the work? It is actually just a willing desire to learn more about God and grow in our understanding of our oneness with ever-present, Divine Love.

I also love that in this section, the message that the rewards are there for anyone and everyone willing to do the work and to walk with Christ. And what is that reward? It is eternal goodness, health, wholeness, grace and harmony. But, you don’t have to worry about what your friends are doing, or your family or classmates or workmates… just ask yourself if you are willing to do the work.

In citation B14 [with CC insights in PS#11], Jesus chides Peter for being concerned about another disciple (John), but Jesus says, don’t worry about him… you just follow me. And he says “if any man will come after me… (he can) take up his cross and follow me.” (B13, Matt 16:24, my bolding) And in citation B15, Paul emphasizes the same message that the Christ is not exclusive but inclusive of everyone – “unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.” (Eph 4:7 - my bolding)

Mary Baker Eddy carries the same message that the Christ can show each and every one of us the way forward through life and that we can demonstrate the truth and love that Jesus demonstrated but that it is up to each of us to take up the work and then reap the rewards, in citation S23. “It is possible, — yea, it is the duty and privilege of every child, man, and woman, — to follow in some degree the example of the Master by the demonstration of Truth and Life, of health and holiness.” (SH 37:22-25) And the section ends with this important question about our willingness to take up the work and demonstrate as Jesus did… he not only did the work but also invites us along by saying “follow me”... Are you going to accept or decline his offer?

“Ask yourself: Am I living the life that approaches the supreme good? Am I demonstrating the healing power of Truth and Love? If so, then the way will grow brighter "unto the perfect day." Your fruits will prove what the understanding of God brings to man.” (S26, 496:9–14 Ask)

Section 6 – Jesus demonstrates life is eternal and we can prove it too!
[Explore CC & MBE Library insights on citations B16 & S27 in W’s PS#12 & PS#13. Download separatedly the 5th Tenet evolution (recorded by the MBE Library) in the upper right of the online version of this Met.]

In this section, the Apostle Paul is telling the Hebrews and Romans about Jesus and his life – that he was anointed or chosen by God to go out and do good and to heal all people who were suffering from some sort of oppression – either sickness, sin or death. But he is also encouraging the early Christians, and all of us today, to know that Life is eternal and that by learning about the life of Jesus as our example and way-shower, we too can have faith in the power of the Christ. It is that Christ light that will show us the way and help us to have patience with ourselves and others, because we are all in this “race” or on this journey together as referenced in citation B17.

Mary Baker Eddy speaks of how Jesus represented and demonstrated the Christ in citation S28 “Through the magnitude of his human life, he demonstrated the divine Life. Out of the amplitude of his pure affection, he defined Love. With the affluence of Truth, he vanquished error. The world acknowledged not his righteousness, seeing it not; but earth received the harmony his glorified example introduced. Who is ready to follow his teaching and example?” (SH 54:1-8) And then, wrapping up this lesson, she tells us how to do so in citation S31… “Hold perpetually this thought, — that it is the spiritual idea, the Holy Ghost and Christ, which enables you to demonstrate, with scientific certainty, the rule of healing, based upon its divine Principle, Love, underlying, overlying, and encompassing all true being.” (SH 486:15)

Thank you for earnestly perusing and applying this Bible lesson!! I find it so helpful to dig into these studies and their applications because they help me deepen in understanding of God and of the healing power of the Christ, which lets my light shine even more. So together we can take these lessons that Jesus demonstrated for us, and go out into the world with his healing message. You may say, “Well, Jesus was chosen and anointed, and who am I to think I can heal or be healed?” Well, as we’ve seen here, Jesus showed us how and asked us to go out into the world and do as he did… Love compassionately, act on principle, understand the truth of our being (and everyone else's being) as God’s beloved child... and in doing so, we too will be receptive to that healing message in our lives and will help heal others as well!
Have a great week letting your Christ-light shine boldly and freely!


Thanks to ALL you precious and generous supporters!:
1. INCOMING GIFTS and pledges of CAMPERSHIP FUNDING guaranteed that we met the needs of all who wanted to come to CedarS this summer! The RESULTANT BLESSINGS have already been life-transforming and greatly appreciated by over 400 worthy recipients and their families and churches. Lots of new reports of life-changing fruitage will be shared this fall.

You can see pictures of our best-yet summer-yet at www.cedarscamps.org or on FaceBook or Instagram. (The password is CedarS.) We're grateful to say that CedarS 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Sessions averaged over 300 guests each session and that our Memorial Weekend and August Family Week totaled well over 400 Family Campers and staff.

Please sign up to give whatever you can on a much-needed MONTHLY basis to support CedarS life-changing work! [You can start at any amount and adjust monthly as you wish at: www.cedarscamps.org/giving ] All of your gifts add up to big blessings in the lives of today's Sunday School students (tomorrow's joyous workers in our Christ-centered church!

2. Also, thanks to generous donors, we will be undertaking LOTS OF NEEDED UPGRADES TO KEEP CEDARS FACILITIES and vehicles FUNCTIONING UP TO THE LEVEL OF ITS MISSION! (UPGRADING our of vehicle(s) and replacing original Crown Lake spillway will start as soon as possible this fall! Strengthening our internet service for more efficient office operations and for our staff and fall guests and a few other items are still goals before next summer ... details will come as soon as possible.)

3. CedarS “Adopt the Herd” Matching Fund has been met!

In the time since Giving Tuesday you helped raise ~$65k for the Riding Program, which will be doubled through the Adopt the Herd Matching Fund, for a total of $130k Adopt the Herd match!

With heartfelt gratitude and love,
Warren, Gay, Holly & your CedarS Family

P.S. If you haven't yet given, or are blessed with more to give, we still have many needs, big and small, that you can help meet by clicking on https://www.cedarscamps.org/giving/tree/.

You can also reach a member of the Founding family nearly anytime by
PHONE at 417-532-6699.

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THANKS TO YOU PRECIOUS DONORS FOR YOUR ONGOING, GENEROUS and NEEDED SUPPORT OF CedarS IMPORTANT WORK!

CedarS weekly Metaphysical Newsletter is provided at no charge to the 1,200 campers and staff blessed each summer at CedarS, as well as to CedarS alumni, families and friends who have requested it. However, current and planned gifts are a huge proof of your ongoing LOVE made visible and are greatly appreciated!! They not only defray the costs of running this service but also provide greatly needed camperships and essential program and operations support.

The Met application ideas above are provided primarily to help CedarS campers and staff (as well as friends) see and daily demonstrate the great value of studying and applying the Christian Science Bible lessons throughout the year, not just at camp! YOU CAN ALSO SIGN UP for weekly emails from past CedarS staff of possible ways to share Bible Lesson applications with older, as well as younger, Sunday School classes by clicking the "Subscribe Now" button (lower left) at http://www.cedarscamps.org/meta

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